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Effects of Wildfires

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What are the positive and negative effects of wildfires? Are the effects primarily restricted to rural areas, and therefore, of little importance to the bulk of society? Defend your statement.

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Negatives effects:

When wildfires occur they destroy the surrounding vegetation. Without trees and shrubs, there is no uptake of carbon dioxide through plant photosynthesis and oxygen is not created. This can have negative implications not only on humans but also on global warming. With less carbon dioxide being taken up by plants, there is more carbon dioxide left in the atmosphere, thus contributing more greenhouse gases to climate change. In addition to the lack of uptake of carbon dioxide, CO2 is also release by the combustion of plant material. When a forest fire occurs it releases all of the carbon that was sequestered by the forest vegetation. This leads to even larger delivery of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

When forests are removed by forest fires, water is not as easily retained by the ecosystem because soils and foliage keep up to 50% of rain. This can alter the water balance and lead to increased runoff. This runoff can also carry ash and other materials from the ...

Solution Summary

The positive and negative effects of wildfires are examined. The effects primarily restricted to rural areas and little importance to the bulk of society is determined.

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